Centre for Health Informatics

Centre for Health Informatics

The Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) is Australia's largest academic research group in digital health. CHI is one of three research centres within the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI). CHI is also the lead agency of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in eHealth (CRE).

The Centre for Health Informatic's work is internationally recognised for its ground-breaking contributions in the development of tools to support systematic reviews, developing evaluation methodologies for IT safety, analysis of social network data, consumer eHealth and clinical analytics. 

We are particularly interested in collaborations in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine and healthcare. Student projects are available on request.

Our principal aim is to map the complex organisational systems that shape today’s health system and to design rigorous, system-wide computational systems that provide a sustainable platform for future health systems, locally and internationally.

The Centre for Health Informatics has worked with major healthcare providers, research institutions, universities and governments, including the Australian Patient Safety Foundation, the Commission for Quality and Safety in Healthcare, the Australian Digital Health Agency, the US National Toxicology Program and Therapeutic Guidelines Limited. The Centre also has partnerships and collaborations internationally and actively pursues relationships with leaders in their fields.

Our industry partnerships have resulted in two spinoff companies and we actively work with industry to deliver innovative and targeted solutions based on research evidence. Our students have gone on to have promising careers and leadership roles as researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs.

We welcome research scientists with a background as clinicians, computer scientists and engineers to join our team. We invite industry to partner with us to create business opportunities through research and innovation.

Centre mission

Driving change in healthcare

The Centre for Health Informatics drives change in healthcare and biomedicine by making contributions to:

SCIENCE

Break-through discoveries in computational, communication, cognitive and organisational science needed to support health service innovation and biomedical researchers.

POLICY

Providing expert input and leadership into government, shaping eHealth and digital health policy priorities and goals.

INNOVATION

Invention of novel information technologies and methods that can transfer into industry and health services.

EDUCATION

Training future researchers through postgraduate research degrees, and educating clinicians, technologists and policy makers in health informatics through postgraduate programs.

Research areas

eHealth

The Centre for Health Informatics leads the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in eHealth which commenced operation in 2012. Investigators in the CRE come from Macquarie University, the University of NSW, Sydney University, Bond University, and the University of South Australia. Professor Coiera directs the $2.5 million CRE, whose work program supports collaborative research between the Centre for Health Informatics at Macquarie University and its four partner Universities. Read more

Artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine

The future of sustainable, effective and safe healthcare will ultimately involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to support clinical decision making. Appropriately used, AI should enhance the ability of clinicians and the healthcare system to deliver accurate, timely and appropriate care. The implementation of AI will thus change the way we deliver healthcare and has the potential to be a truly transformational technology.

Patient safety informatics

Information technology (IT) or eHealth is integral to the modern day transformations of healthcare delivery systems to improve quality and safety. IT is also a key enabler for encouraging patients to actively participate in healthcare processes for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. At the same time eHealth can introduce new, often unforseen, errors that can affect the safety and quality of care and may lead to patient harm. Our research program takes a cross-disciplinary approach to tackle the eHealth safety on a number of fronts by making theoretical, methodological and policy contributions. We monitor the safety of e‑health using reports of critical incidents and automated methods for surveillance of IT systems. We are also investigating models for the safety governance of eHealth. Read more

Health analytics

The recent availability of digital biomedical data and the enabling technology to collect, store and analyse this data will transform health care from traditional models to learning health care systems, where research and practice are integrated in a sustained manner. These learning health care systems require new methods where analytics are performed in real time at the point-of-care. At the Health Analytics Lab at AIHI, we are designing, developing and testing such models so that they can be implemented in future Electronic Health Record systems. Our core strength lies in the combination of deep analytic and computing theory and methods with understanding of clinical decision support systems. Read more

Consumer informatics

Focusing on those with the highest stake in our healthcare system, our research program investigates the impact, design, and science of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on consumers, patients and their carers. Our research program is unique nationally and internationally and focuses on the impact of consumer eHealth, the design of consumer eHealth and the science of consumer eHealth. Read more 

Computable evidence lab

The Computable Evidence Lab (CEL) focus on how clinical decisions can be made quickly and safely based on evidence. We are exploring ways in which automation can help gather, synthesize and disseminate evidence to inform decision making at the right place and time for the decision. Our research themes are: machine learning, natural language processing and heuristic systems. The Computable Evidence Lab is leading the way for new ways to think about evidence. Read more

Evidence surveillance

The aims of this program are to observe and measure the systems of knowledge transfer in medical evidence. Using data mining, network science, and machine learning, we undertake projects that examine networks of interacting researchers, clinical trials, clinicians, and the communities they serve. Our broad focus includes the entire pipeline of evidence translation – from the design and undertaking of clinical trials, through the reporting and synthesis of evidence in published research and the media, and into the use of clinical evidence in policy, practice, and the decision-making of clinicians and their patients. Read more

Our people

Our people come from diverse backgrounds – academic, industry, clinical and professional. You can find people with expertise in health informatics, artificial intelligence (AI), digital health, app development, medicine, pharmacy, bio-medical engineering, patient safety, information technology, network science, physics and maths.

Director, Centre for Health Informatics

Professor Enrico Coiera

Professor Coiera has worked in health informatics for three decades and has a broad range of interests in the application of information and communication technologies (eHealth) to solving health service delivery problems. He emphasises the importance of working on inpatient clinical problems, as well as developing robust theoretical work to support the applied nature of much of this discipline.



Academic staff

Professional staff

Visiting appointments

Higher degree research students

PhD

Rabia Bashir

Tom Bowden

Tobias Hodgson

Mohamed Khalifa

Georgina Kennedy

David Lyell

Appukutty Manickman

Maryke Steffens

Thilo Schuler

Ly Tong

Nan Zhou

MPhil

Christoph Camphausen

Ken Lee

MRes

Aidan O'Brien

Intern

Eddy (Junjie) Cai

Jessica Chen

Maisie Lee

Our projects

Our projects focus on mapping the complex organisational systems of health systems; developing intelligent systems to support evidence-based health care; developing and applying evaluation tools to assess the impacts of information technology safety in health care; and designing system-wide interventions to provide a sustainable platform for future health systems.

Our resources

CHI has developed a suite of tools and resources relevant to researchers, clinicians, medical practitioners, healthcare and government policy makers, students, and industry. For example, we have developed a consumer ‘app’ ecosystem called Healthy.me, and tools to support systematic reviews, as well as clinical analytics.

Our resources

About CHI

For students

For business and/or researchers

Resources

Webinars

Books

  1. Lau, A. Participatory Health through Social Media, 1st Ed from Shabbir Syed-Abdul, Elia Gabarron. Academic Press, 2016
  2. Coiera E.Guide to Health Informatics. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: CRC Press Imprint; 2015.
  3. Sintchenko, V (Ed).Infectious disease Informatics, Springer, 2010
  4. Sintchenko V.Decision by design: Decision support for antibiotic prescribing in critical care. Saarbrucken: VDM-Verlag Dr Müller; 2009.
  5. Westbrook JI, Coiera EW, Callen JL, Aarts J (eds). Information technology in Health Care 2007, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Health Care; Socio-technical approaches, IOS Press, 311pp.
  6. Lau, A.The impact of cognitive biases on information searching and decision making, UNSW, 2006
  7. Fieshi M, Coiera E, Li Y (eds). Proceedings of the 11th World Congress on Medical Informatics – Medinfo 2004, IOS Press, 2 vols.

Annual reports

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